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Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base Paperback – May 1, 2012
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It is the most famous military installation in the world. And it doesn't exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada's desert, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government-but Area 51 has captivated imaginations for decades.
Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing itself was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.
Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to nineteen men who served the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92, and unprecedented access to fifty-five additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, thirty-two of whom lived and worked there for extended periods. In Area 51, Jacobsen shows us what has really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror.
This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it the seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that has never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the top-secret base into a gripping narrative, showing that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make. (2011)
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For all the negative reviews attempting to discredit Jacobsen and this book (and some of them were just plain nasty and completely unwarranted), I have one and only one conclusion: somebody out there does *not* want you to read this book!
Who should NOT read this book:
1) Anyone who is looking for highly technical information on the U-2, A12, or F-117, or who is looking for scientific research. Jacobsen is a journalist, not a scientist or engineer. She writes for the rest of us who are just looking for the big picture.
2) Anyone who believes in and is hoping to hear about aliens from outer space. Any reviewer who says this is a "tin foil hatter" book has *not* read the book.
3) Anyone who who believes we should blindly trust our government and that they always have our best interests at heart. To say she should completely rely on government sources for all of her information is pure naivete.
4) Any scientist, engineer, or government person who is already familiar with these black programs. It seems there were many who read it for the sole purpose of picking it apart in an attempt to discredit the author. Move on already.
Who SHOULD read this book:
1) Anyone who wants to know more about the development and history of black programs in the United States. Personally, the book was a real eye-opener, especially learning the extent of nuclear testing in the continental USA. The heart of this book, and the main question that is asked is this: how do we balance citizen's need-to-know with their right to know. As a journalist, Jacobsen presents the information, asks the questions, but always lets the reader draw their own conclusions.
My advice: do not let the negative reviews keep you from reading this book and forming your own opinion.
If anyone thinks they can do a better job, that they can interview more people and do more research than Annie Jacobsen did--then go at it--and stop complaining. I am waiting for your book.